The geneticist has an increasingly greater role to play in IVF.
For our women who are doing donor sperm treatment, we would encourage them to see a genetics counsellor beforehand, to help them understand the genetic screening results that the donor may have, and to also talk them through the role for genetic screening for themselves.
It’s important to understand that we all carry genetic mutations, but it becomes particularly relevant if they are carrying a mutation which the donor is also carrying. Some couples will also come to me just to talk about fertility, workup, and pre pregnancy planning, and we would talk about genetic screening as part of that.
Of course, there are some couples where there is a known family history of particular genetic mutations. Examples would include Cystic Fibrosis would be the most common one. And clearly a Geneticist has got a huge role to play in explaining exactly what these genetic mutations are and how they’re inherited, and also how the process of IVF can help in terms of testing the embryos beforehand, to determine if they are carrying that particular genetic mutation.
Dr. Jenny Cook is a Fertility Specialist who works at the Monash IVF clinic. She has published widely in the area of Gynaecological Laparoscopy and has presented at many national and international meetings. She is recognised for her experience in laparoscopic gynaecological procedures. https://www.drjennycook.com/